Court of Appeal rules on abortion laws

Bronwyn Torrie in the Dom Post reports:

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judge’s ruling that unborn children do not have a right to life.

It also dismissed comments made by the judge about many abortions being granted “on request”.

It’s that second paragraph which is more significant. The High Court commented that we effectively have an on demand system in New Zealand (which effectively we do – the number of requests declined is close to zero), while the law says should be granted only when there is serious risk of physical or psychological harm from having the birth.

Now personally I don’t think women should have to prove psychological harm to be able to have an abortion, so I have no problem with the current practice. However I was not surprised the High Court pointed out the apparent mismatch between the law and the practice. My solution would be to update the law to reflect the practice.

However the Court of Appeal has disagreed, and struck out the comments of Justice Miller. This means that we are likely to continue for some time with the status quo.

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